I’ve spent a surprising amount of time recently thinking about music from 1973. This is not as random as it appears – I’ve just finished watching the BBC TV series Life On Mars, about a Manchester cop who has an accident and wakes up – in 1973. The series is really quite wonderful, and is full of early Bowie, T Rex, ELO’s first album, Nina Simone… The whole series made me rethink my opinion of 1973, which the 14-year old me originally thought was a musical wasteland.
Now comes Dark Shadows, the Tim Burton film based on the cult TV show of the same name. As a kid, I was not allowed to watch the vampire-based soap opera – I’m not sure why, but lots of other neighborhood kids were also forbidden the pleasures of the show’s rickety sets and even more rickety dialogue. Anyway, in the film, the vampire Barnabas Collins wakes up after a two-century nap, to find himself in 1972. A publicity still for the movie shows Johnny Depp as Collins, seated in a room with posters on the walls. One of them is clearly an Iggy & The Stooges poster.
Back in 1972, I had never heard of Iggy Pop or his band. For me, it was the year I discovered David Bowie, and the year of the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street. Good thing too, because the limp, gooey stuff that filled the radio playlists and Billboard charts that year was just not my thing. But as with 1973, I find myself today looking over what wasn’t on the Billboard charts and thinking – wow, 1972 rocked! I may have to go see this Dark Shadows thing… if my mom will let me.
What’s your musical memory of 1972? Leave a comment.